As we sit down at a long table in his Paris apartment, Antonio Negri, 84, has a thick sheaf of notes in hand, a tense gaze and an exigent air. He is impatient from the flu that has plagued him ever since his return from a trip to Brazil, where he introduced his book Assembly — the fourth part of a joint research project with the American philosopher Michael Hardt, following Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth, and recently published in English by Oxford University Press.
“I’m not able to work as I would like,” he says. A philosopher of worldwide renown, he is now working on the second part of his autobiography. The title of the first part is revealing: Storia di un comunista (The Story of a Communist).
A new volume to be written together with Hardt is already planned. Between Spinozist desire and Marxist practice, with Negri there is no time for reminiscing, and you find yourself speaking from the standpoint of a contemporary position.